November 7th: What's On Today's Show : Blog Of The Nation In the first hour of Talk of the Nation, the new politics of race, and the opinion page looks at how Iran lost Iraq. In the second hour, P.J. O'Rourke talks about his latest book, Holidays in Heck, and vacations gone wrong.
NPR logo November 7th: What's On Today's Show

November 7th: What's On Today's Show

In our second hour, P.J. O'Rourke talks about his latest book, and vacations gone wrong. © Big Cheese Photo/Corbis hide caption

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© Big Cheese Photo/Corbis

The New Politics Of Race
The 2012 elections is now just one year away and recent polls suggest that for the first time in history two black candidates, Barack Obama and Herman Cain, may run against each other for the presidency. As it did three years ago, discussions of race and racism continue to play out around both campaigns. Republican and Democratic analysts raise legitimate questions about each candidate's leadership abilities, political experience, personal background and relationship to minority voters. At the same time, conservative and liberal analysts trade accusations of subtle and blatant racism. Host Neal Conan speaks with Andra Gillespie, a professor of political science at Emory University and Congressman Allen West, a Republican from Florida about the politics of race and the role it plays in the campaign.

How Iran Lost Iraq
All U.S. troops are set to withdraw from Iraq by the end of this year, and many argue that Iran will move to assert more influence over Baghdad. But Ray Takeyh argues that Iran already lost Iraq. Ray Takeyh joins host Neal Conan on this week's Opinion Page to discuss his piece, Iran's waning influence on Iraq. They will also talk about the expected International Atomic Energy Agency report that will, according to news reports, conclude that Iran has mastered all of the technologies required to build a nuclear weapon small enough to put in one of its ballistic missiles.

Your Vacation, Gone Wrong
After retiring from decades as a war correspondent, P.J. O'Rourke decided to travel for pleasure. He went to some dream destinations — Disney Land with the family, Ecuador's Galapagos Islands, Italy's famed modern art exhibit Venice Biennale. O'Rourke also took some less conventional journeys — a horseback trek across a mountain in Kyrgyzstan, a voyage down China's Yangzte river, a couple's bird hunting trip. All of those excursions left him questioning the merits of traveling for fun and made him yearn for his days spent under artillery fire. Host Neal Conan talks with O'Rourke about his new book Holidays in Heck and the recipe for a bad vacation.